Performance-Based Regulatory Design
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 5:10PM
Environmental Simulation Center

Performance-based Planning and Regulatory Design is about "satisficing" (e.g. many acceptable and equivalent "best" answers) rather than "optimizing" (e.g. one "best" answer).  This is a non-prescriptive approach to planning and development that, unlike traditional regulatory practice, allows for and encourages creative solutions to complex problems.  It articulates an approach to planning and development that recognizes the contingent nature of urban development and offers a method for contextualizing incremental decisions, while recognizing that these decisions cumulatively give form to the city.

The concept of the Performance-based planning assumes that some goals and objectives will be more important than others and that over time their value and importance may change.  There would be no single path to achieving a preferred level of performance, but rather permutations and combinations of different paths that result in the same or equivalent level of performance.  A performance-based approach to regulatory design therefore establishes a level of performance with the minimal amount of prescriptive design, thereby permitting "The good you can't think of."

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